Various events or conditions can cause the brain to be deprived of oxygen. Symptoms of a transient ischemic attack (TIA) are similar to those of a stroke, but they do not last as long.
It is estimated that up to 500,000 people in the United States experience a TIA each year.
Because symptoms fade away rapidly, most patients do not seek medical help. However, between 10-15 percent of TIA patients have a full-blown stroke within 3 months. This is why recognizing the signs of a TIA and seeking medical attention is important.
Rapid evaluation and treatment of people who experienced a mini-stroke, either in specially designed TIA clinics or the emergency room, can significantly reduce the risk of a subsequent stroke.
- A mini-stroke occurs when blood is temporarily cut off to regions of the brain.
- Around 500,000 Americans have a stroke each year.
- Rapid care is essential to minimize the medical implications of a stroke.
- The object of TIA treatment is to prevent further occurrences.
- One of the most common drugs used to prevent TIAs is warfarin, an anticoagulant medication.
What is a transient ischemic attack?
The acronym FAST represents the signs and symptoms of stroke.
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is like a stroke in that it produces similar symptoms, but it only lasts a few minutes and causes no permanent damage. It is sometimes called a mini-stroke.
It happens when there is not enough oxygen reaching the brain. This is often due to a blood clot that remains for a short while. When the clot breaks up or moves on, symptoms subside.
The American Stroke Association (ASA) urges people not to ignore a TIA, as it can be a warning of a future, full-blown stroke.
The signs and symptoms of a TIA are represented by the acronym FAST (Face, Arms, Speech, Time):
- Face: The face may fall on one side as some of the facial muscles become paralyzed. The person's eye or mouth may droop, and they may be unable to smile properly.
- Arms: Arm weakness or numbness might make it hard for the individual to either raise both arms or to keep them raised.
- Speech: Speech may be slurred and garbled.
- Time: If just one of these symptoms are present, it is time to dial emergency services.
Being able to identify the signs and symptoms present in FAST is especially important if you live with somebody in a high-risk group, such as an older adult, or an individual with high blood pressure or diabetes. FAST is also a reminder that the sooner medical treatment is sought, the better the chance of recovery.
Other signs and symptoms of a TIA can include:
- difficulty talking
- difficulty understanding what others are talking about
- problems swallowing
- very bad headache
- paralysis, numbness, or weakness on one side of the body
- in severe cases loss of consciousness
If anybody experiences any of these signs and symptoms themselves or witnesses anybody else experiencing them, medical attention should be sought immediately. TIA symptoms are temporary and should disappear within 24 hours. They may last from 2-15 minutes. People with TIA experience varying symptoms, depending on which part of the brain is affected.
A TIA happens when the supply of oxygen to the brain is disrupted.
Disruption of blood supply
Two main blood vessels called the carotid arteries supply blood to the brain. These arteries branch off into many smaller blood vessels. A TIA can occur if one of the smaller blood vessels becomes blocked, depriving that part of the brain of oxygen-rich blood.
Atherosclerosis causes arteries to narrow. Fatty deposits develop on the inner lining of blood vessels, causing them to become hardened, thickened, and less flexible. This makes it much more difficult for the blood to flow around the body.
A blood clot can disrupt the supply of oxygen-rich blood to parts of the brain. Blood clots are usually caused by:
An embolism is a blood clot from one part of the body that becomes dislodged and travels into one of the arteries that supplies the brain. An embolism can cause a TIA.
Hemorrhage (internal bleeding)
A minor brain hemorrhage (small amount of bleeding in the brain) can cause a TIA; however, this is rare.
Risk factors for TIA include ethnic origin, age, and family history.
There are some risk factors for TIA that can be changed, and others that cannot.
Risk factors that cannot be changed:
- Family history: People with a close relative who has had a stroke or TIA.
- Age: People aged over 55 have a higher risk of having a TIA.
- Sex: Males are at slightly greater risk.
- Ethnic origin: People of black African ancestry have a higher risk.
Risk factors that can be changed:
- Hypertension, or high blood pressure.
- Cardiovascular disease: People with cardiovascular diseases are at greater risk of having a TIA. This includes a heart defect, heart failure, or arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm).
- Carotid artery disease: This develops when blood vessels in the neck leading to the brain are clogged.
- PAD (peripheral artery disease): When blood vessels that carry blood to the arms and legs become clogged.
- Smoking: People who smoke increase their risk of developing various diseases and conditions, including TIA and stroke.
- Sedentary lifestyle: People who are physically inactive have a significantly higher risk.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries due to a buildup of fatty deposits).
- Bad diet: Individuals who consume too much bad quality fat and or salt have a higher risk of stroke and TIA.
- Blood cholesterol levels: If blood cholesterol levels are high, it increases the risk of TIA or stroke.
- Homocysteine levels: Homocysteine is an amino acid produced by the body as a byproduct of consuming meat. Elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood can make the arteries thicken and scar; they are more susceptible to clogs.
- Bodyweight: Obese people have a significantly higher risk of having a TIA or stroke.
- Alcohol: People who drink large quantities of alcohol regularly are also at higher risk.
- Illegal drugs: Some illegal drugs, such as cocaine, can raise the risk of stroke or TIA if taken often enough.
Treatment will depend on the cause of the TIA. The doctor may prescribe medication that lowers the risk of a blood clot, or recommend surgery or an angioplasty.
The type of medication prescribed will depend on what caused the TIA, how severe it was, and what part of the brain was affected.
Anti-platelet drugs: These make platelets in the blood less likely to stick together and form a clot that can block blood flow. Anti-platelet drugs include:
Aspirin and dipyridamole: Some doctors may prescribe Aggrenox, which contains both aspirin and dipyridamole. Some doctors may recommend ticlopidine (Ticlid).
Side effects of aspirin can include:
- ringing in the ears
- stomach irritation and bleeding
Side effects of dipyridamole may include:
Clopidogrel: If a person has experienced severe side effects from taking aspirin, had a further TIA despite taking aspirin, or has arterial disease, the doctor may prescribe clopidogrel (Plavix).
Side effects of clopidogrel may include:
- abdominal pain
Anticoagulants: Anti-coagulants interfere with many other medications, other over-the-counter drugs, and herbs. Always talk to your doctor before taking any other medication or herbs when on anticoagulants.
Warfarin (Coumadin) and heparin: Warfarin can be used long-term, while heparin is used short-term.
- Length: 356 words (1 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
The main indication of heat stroke is a fever of 105 degrees Fahrenheit with hot, dry
skin. Other signs include rapid heartbeat, rapid and shallow breathing, either elevated
or lowered blood pressure, and confusion or unconsciousness. If you suspect heat
stroke, get the person out of the sun and into a cool spot. Cool the person by covering
him or her with damp sheets or spraying with water. Direct air onto the person with a
fan or a newspaper, and monitor the person's temperature with a thermometer. Stop
cooling the person when his or her temperature returns to normal. If breathing ceases,
start mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Heatstroke is an emergency that needs immediate
Every year people pass out and die during exercise/ from a condition called heat stroke, a sudden uncontrolled rise in
body temperature that affects the brain so that it can't function properly.
Heat stroke doesn't just happen. You get plenty of warning. First your muscles are affected, then your circulation and
then your brain.
As your temperature starts to rise, your muscles feel like a hot poker is pressing against them. As it rises further, the air
that you breathe feels like it's coming from a furnace and no matter how rapidly and deeply you try to breathe, you
won't be able to get enough air. When this happens, stop exercising. If you continue to exercise, your body temperature
will rise further and affect your brain. Your head will start to hurt, you'll hear a ringing in your ears, you may feel dizzy,
you may have difficulty seeing and then you will end up unconscious on the ground.
When a person passes out from heatstroke, his brain is being cooked just like the colorless part of an egg turns white
when it hits the griddle. Get medical help immediately. Usually, the victim should be carried into the shade and placed on
his back with his head down and his feet up. He should be cooled by any possible means. Liquid should be poured on
him. It doesn't matter whether it's from a hose or a glass. It could be water, coke, milk, or whatever you have. After he
is revived, he should be watched for more than an hour as his temperature can start to rise to high levels again.
You should remember to plan ahead on any ultra training course you
decide on and stash extra water at intervals along the way.
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Stroke Heat Blood Pressure Shade Furnace Circulation Degrees Immediate Ears Hurt
Remember to up your intake of fluids now that the warmer weather is
upon us. Make sure that the water is not exposed to direct sunlight
when you do leave it. Another concern is to conceal it so that animals
will not have access to your stash. It is not a happy feeling when you
finally reach your stash of water only to realize that an animal has
gotten to it before you have.